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Found 66 results

  1. Total dream match for me right here. Ten seconds in Kensuke and Murakami quarrel over who's going to start and chop and punch each other for a second before Kensuke starts things off, that spot is awesome in that setting but when you have like, Sekimoto and X modern puro guy doing it for twenty minutes it's boring. MiSU-Kensuke interactions sound least intriguing since I've seen them go at it plenty of times including a 40 minute match. They do a quick strike exchange and Kensuke irish whips MiSu into the ropes and-stare offs might not work in junior matches after doing kung fu sequences but they totally work here when MiSu suddenly stops as Kensuke is going to chop him. That's UWF blood for you. Fujiwara and Murakami do some nice grappling and MiSu stomped Murakami when they were near his corner which was a great touch and him not so subtly repeteadly kicking off Murakami's feet of the ropes to break the rope break was awesome as well. Murakami is just the best, he might be the greatest ever at conveying disgust and disdain through facial expressions. Minoru Suzuki can phone it in but man he is great when he wants to be, it's so much fun watching him troll Murakami and just act like a dick. The Murakami peril in section was absolutely hilarious, you gotta love the tremendous pastice of shoot style and comedy Fujiwara and MiSu present here. Loved the way Fujiwara fell down after Sasaki Lariated him, it looked like a beast of a man hit him in the back of the head and that's how he sold it. I fucking lost it when Kensuke fucked up the save, laughing out loud while Fujiwara punches people in the face is about as ennjoyable as wrestling gets and they immediately followed it up with Suzuki stomping on Murakami's head in the corner (which is Murakami's signature move), Fujiwara shitbeating Murakami and then choking him when Murakami yelled at him in an insulting matter AND then Fujiwara distracting the ref so Suzuki could choke Murakami and just pull his nose and do all these disgusting things. Murakami's comeback is the world's greatest uppercut (boxing, not european) and the finishing run is awesome as Kensuke Sasaki runs over people, Murakami and MiSu beat the shit ouf of each other and Fujiwara bleeds a lot at the age of 200. ****1/4
  2. Sasaki & Kawada don't do much here, and instead give their protegé's the spotlight to slap each other around and prove themselves. The youngin's did a fantastic job holding this match together, though, with their fire and selling. Sasaki vs. Kawada ruled, as expected, in their short bursts together, but the highlights of the match were the interactions between Sasaki/Taichi & Kawada/Nakajima - which was all sorts of disrespectful, stiff, and humbling as the veterans laid the smackdown on the newbies. Rating: ***½
  3. This might be the greatest squash I've ever watched. I love watching Kensuke beat the shit out of people, there a lot of guys that use offence similar to Kensuke today like Sekimoto, Okabayashi, Hino etc., part of the problem with them is probably that they're too selfless and end up doing shitty modern puro tropes and as a result neither guy in the match looks good, Kensuke only cares about looking strong and he is much better at projecting himself as a badass asskicker than the modern guys and he also does a lot of great looking combination and moves current guys don't like the sandwich lariats, chops to the throat and neck etc. His matches are also a lot less likely to feel stale-there is a lot more urgency behind his movement and it feels like he is trying to win when he throws himself at his opponent with these big power moves. So yeah. That should have been my Kensuke Sasaki GWO case. Sorry mate. I'll do you justice by 2026 I promise. Anyway. Kazunari Murakami is amazing at getting annihilated-he takes an insane bump over the top rope for a chop and just generally does such awesome facial expression while getting beaten up and tries to fight out of the position he's in. He never quite does-he hits some nice punches and kicks for a moment but quickly loses control. Still the match feels like a lot more than just a squash. I loved Kensuke's Ipponseoi counter to Murakami's haymaker and liked the restart of the match-the thirty additional seconds we got felt like an ending of an all time classic. I hope their match from Kensuke's vanity fed is still preserved somewhere I have to rewatch that one as soon as possible now. ***1/2.
  4. A fun mess. Match starts out with Nakajima and Marvin, and while you may expect them to do some contrived junior sequences they instead proceed to just slap the taste out of each other's mouth, setting the pace and the heat for the match. And it's not like it was hard for them to sustain that-you get Ibushi pinballing for Misawa, Misawa and Kensuke slugging it out, Kensuke destroying juniors, all intriguing ideas that were executed well (I loved MIsawa saying fuck it mid-strike exchange with Kensuke and tagging out). Misawa is at his most Giant Baba-ish here, at the end of the match he can't even run halfway across the ring, but anyone other than Kensuke that gets close to him gets elbowkilled. Marvin and Nakajima were unfortunately the heat killers too, as Marvin tried to use more of his more juniorish offence in their next match-up and Nakajima didn't really know how to react. In an interesting turn of events Ibushi and Ishimori were the ones to get the heat back by doing even more junior stuff, but with fluidity and good execution. It being a six man tag also allows them to incorporate more complicated spots easier without ridiculous set-ups, like Marvin's ramp run and Ibushi's sudden Springboard to cut-off the double 619, you don't even notice that stuff when there's simulatenous action going on. ***1/2
  5. I remember hearing about this match, I think I read an old article from SSS Stuart which depicted it as a disaster and shit on the booking and the Inokiism in it. Luckily I'm way too into absurdism to care about who wins in pro wrestling (especially in a fifteen year old match) and the way it was described really made me want to see it. Honestly this might be the best Hashimoto-Kensuke Sasaki match. I'm not sure how many matches they've had against each other but of the top off my head I can think of a Hash IWGP Title defence vs. Power Warrior, one in the Dome and a G1 match and I would have this one above all of them. It's billed as a "no rules deathmatch", that doesn't mean you're going to get garbage spots and heavily gimmicked stuff, just more punches to the face and also a very clever submission spot built around the stipulation. Hashimoto comes out wearing boxing gloves and man do these two beat on one another, they throw a lot of nasty shots in close range and while clinching before the match evolves into ridiculous bomb throwing. I could see the uniqueness of the pacing and (somewhat of) the finish throwing some folks off but I really appreciated them. It's esentially a proto-Futen match. ****
  6. The promo video for the match is great-they show Kensuke playing with his sons, and him and Hokuto talk about his role in the family, Fujita as a pro wrestler/MMA fighter, being a monster champion, the risks of facing him and so on. The match lasts for only two and a half minutes, as Fujita pins himself in a sleeper to lose the belt. They exchanged some nice shots while the match lasted but the angle itself is so much more fascinating. Kensuke is pissed, not happy he won that way whatsoever, as Fujita seemingly threw the match. That is more of a result of all the backsta politicking that was taking place at the time than a result of some geniously planned angle, but it does make one wonder how something like that could be used for storyline purposes. Divorced from all the emotion and rage fans at the time experienced my observation was that it was fun and unique, though obviously not a good business model. ***
  7. The world's strongest 54 year old man clashes with a "Muscle Volcano" in one of my favourite sprints. It's funny, I mainly remembered the match for them busting out a bunch of junior offence, and on a rewatch that ruled too, but I also noticed other things that made the match as badass as it is. Tenryu's facial expressions when Kensuke corners him and starts pounding on him are a thing of beauty and really remind you this man is old enough to be a grandparent, particularly how he'd act like he was out of breath after being Lariated on the neck. Kensuke winding up for a Lariat and then eating a punch just as he was about to execute it ruled and the counter flash finish was great and caught me off guard yet again, and as great as Tenryu is that kind of quick counter really feels like the onyl way he could beat Kensuke at this point. Hectically kicking the air while being pinned can look silly but it was absolutely fitting here. Bonus points for Tenryu continuing to sell after the match. ***3/4